Baked beans are a classic side dish to bring to a summer BBQ or pot luck. My easy recipe will show you how to make the best Instant Pot Baked Beans.
Making baked beans can be a long and tedious process on the stovetop, and it takes even longer in a slow cooker. On the other hand, making them in an electric pressure cooker can really cut down on that time.
While the cook time is still longer than most of my other Instant Pot bean recipes, it’s well worth the wait. These Instant Pot baked beans are not only easy to make, they’re full of amazing flavor too!
They have the perfect balance of flavors to pair with so many meals and barbecue dishes. Plus, who doesn’t love big chunks of bacon?! Next time you need a flavorful side dish for a group, give my tasty baked beans recipe a try.
- By the Numbers: How to Make Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Tips for Making Instant Pot Baked Beans
- 1. Why is the cook time so long?
- 2. How to make vegetarian baked beans?
- 3. Can this recipe be doubled?
- 4. Can I use a different type of bean?
- 5. How to thicken baked beans?
- 6. What to do if I get a burn notice?
- 7. Is this recipe like Bush’s Baked Beans?
- 8. I like BBQ baked beans…
- 9. Can I substitute brown sugar for maple syrup?
- 10. Other sides to make for a group?
- Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe
- 12 ounces of chopped thick cut bacon
- 1 ½ cups of diced onion
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of maple syrup
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 pound of dried navy beans
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing spoon
- Instant Pot
By the Numbers: How to Make Instant Pot Baked Beans
Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to learn how to make the best baked beans in your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.
Step 1: Cook Bacon.
Press the Saute mode button on your Instant Pot and let it heat up. Once it’s warm add the chopped bacon to the pot. Stir frequently until the fat is rendered and it’s starting to crisp up, but don’t overcook.
Step 2: Add Onion and Garlic.
Add 1 ½ cups of diced onion to the pot with the cooked bacon and bacon grease. Once the onion starts to become translucent, stir in 4 cloves of minced garlic. Stir and cook just until it becomes fragrant, then press the Cancel button to turn off the pot.
Step 3: Deglaze the Pot.
Pour in about ¼ cup of chicken stock and use your wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot. It’s important to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot or you could get a burn notice.
Step 4: Add Remaining Ingredients.
Once all of the brown bits are deglazed from the bottom of the pot, you can pour in the remaining ingredients, including: 1 cup of maple syrup; 1 cup of tomato sauce; 1 pound of dried navy beans; 1 bay leaf; ½ teaspoon of sea salt; ¼ teaspoon of black pepper; 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard powder; 1 teaspoon of garlic powder; ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika; and ½ teaspoon of onion powder. Stir until well combined.
Step 5: Pressure Cook Beans.
Press the Pressure Cook button and set it to cook on High Pressure for 2 hours. Once the cook time is up, allow for a full natural pressure release. Once the pressure has dissipated, you may open the lid.
Step 6: Stir Cooked Beans.
Remove the bay leaf, then stir your beans well. They’ll keep absorbing liquid as you stir. Test to be sure the beans are cooked by smashing a couple of them. If you’d like them a bit thicker, see tips below.
Step 7: Serve Baked Beans.
If they’re fully cooked, you’re ready to serve your Instant Pot Baked Beans as a side dish or in a bowl as a simple meal.
Tips for Making Instant Pot Baked Beans
Answers to all of your questions about making the best baked beans in an Instant Pot, including tips and substitution ideas.
1. Why is the cook time so long?
You may have seen another baked bean recipe that has you pressure cook the beans first, then add the other ingredients and cook them into the beans on Saute mode.
There are 2 reasons I don’t use that cooking method.
- I wanted my recipe to use a simple dump and go method instead of standing over a pot. Salt and tomato can make beans take longer to cook, so you need the extra cook time in this case.
- When you add the flavoring ingredients (tomato, maple syrup, etc.) to cooked beans, those flavors aren’t melded into the beans the way they should be with baked beans.
So while while this recipe does cook for a long time compared to other Instant Pot bean recipes, it’s the easiest way to ensure tender beans that have a rich flavor all the way through.
2. How to make vegetarian baked beans?
Simply omit the bacon and substitute either vegetable stock or water for the chicken broth for simple vegetarian baked beans.
Omitting the bacon will change the flavor, so you may want to add some liquid smoke to recreate the perfect baked bean flavors.
3. Can this recipe be doubled?
As long as the ingredients do not go above the Max fill line in your pressure cooker pot, then you should be fine to double the recipe.
4. Can I use a different type of bean?
If you need a substitute for navy beans, try great northern beans. In a pinch, you can also use pinto beans.
5. How to thicken baked beans?
If you open your pot and your beans are too liquid for your preference, use the Instant Pot Saute feature and stir frequently until thickened.
You can also just leave the lid off and keep the pot on warm for a longer period of time and they’ll get thicker.
6. What to do if I get a burn notice?
Unfortunately, some Instant Pots are more prone to this notice than others. My 6-quart pots never get a burn notice. I have gotten it a few times on my 8-quart when I was trying a new recipe for the first time, but never with this baked beans recipe.
If you get a burn notice when making baked beans, it usually means you didn’t fully deglaze the bottom of the pan. Open the pot and use a flat edged spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom really, really well and try again.
If that doesn’t work, next time, try making sure the thin liquid (chicken stock) is poured into the pot first, then layering the ingredients in rather than mixing them.
7. Is this recipe like Bush’s Baked Beans?
That’s exactly what I modeled this recipe after. I wanted to create a simple, flavorful baked beans recipe that was hands off to make. My family likes my homemade baked beans better than the canned stuff now!
8. I like BBQ baked beans…
If you want a stronger barbeque flavor, substitute barbecue sauce for the tomato sauce in this recipe.
9. Can I substitute brown sugar for maple syrup?
I wouldn’t recommend it. I have not tried using brown sugar in place of maple syrup in this recipe. If you want to use brown sugar, you’ll need to add more liquid to compensate for eliminating the maple syrup.
10. Other sides to make for a group?
Some of my other favorite side dishes to bring to potlucks and barbecues are:
- Gluten Free Cornbread
- Broccoli Salad
- Three Bean Salad
- Asian Slaw
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Instant Pot Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe
- 12 ounces thick cut bacon - chopped
- 1 ½ cups onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 3 cups chicken stock - or cold water
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 pound navy beans - rinsed and separated
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing spoon
- Instant Pot
- Turn your Instant Pot on Saute, then add the bacon. Stir frequently until it’s beginning to get crispy, but make sure not to overcook.
- Add the onion to the pot and cook until it starts becoming translucent. When that happens, stir in the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, then turn off the pot.
- Add about ¼ cup of chicken stock to the pot and use your spoon to deglaze it, making sure nothing is stuck to it to avoid a burn message.
- Next, add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.
- Cook on High Pressure for 2 hours, then allow the pressure to release naturally. Once it’s done releasing pressure, open the lid.
- Discard the bay leaf and stir the beans. Test to be sure the beans are cooked.
- Serve as a side dish or in a bowl as a simple meal.